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The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Kydonia

  On the gulf of the same name in the W part of the island, it is one of the three greatest and most famous cities of Crete. It is mentioned in many ancient sources (Scylax 47; Strab. 10.4.7-8, 11-13; Pompon. Mela 2.113; Plin. HN 4.12.59; Ptol. 3.15.5;Stad. 343-44; Tab. Peut. 8.5; Rav. Cosm. 5.21). It had a good harbor and controlled a fertile plain. Founded traditionally by Minos or Kydon (Marmor Parium 21f; Diod. 5.78.2; Paus. 8.53.4), it was the principal site in the territory of the Kydones. Herodotos (3.59) tells of its foundation or refoundation in 524 by Samian exiles, who built the temples visible in the 5th c.; they were defeated and enslaved by Aeginetans (with Cretan support), who then settled there (Strab. 8.6.16) and remained a significant part of the population. The city was attacked unsuccessfully by an Athenian force in answer to an appeal from its small neighbor Polichna in 429 B.C. (Thuc. 2.85) and by Phalaikos the Phokian mercenary commander in 343 B.C. (Diod. 16.63; Paus. 10.2.7.).
  It had good relations with Athens and probably with Macedon in the later 4th and 3d c. It was allied with Knossos in mid 3d c., but forced to abandon this alliance in 220 by Polyrrhenia (Polyb. 4.55.4). Increasing prosperity from the 4th c. made Kydonia predominant in W Crete by the 2d c.; it subjected Phalasarna, but was forced by Ap. Claudius to restore its freedom (Polyb. 22.15) in 184 B.C. It stayed out of the Cretan League and the alliance with Eumenes II (183 B.C.), but made a separate alliance with him, invoked in 170 or 169 when Gortyn threatened it, counterattacking in reprisal for the city's atrocities against Apollonia (destroyed 171; Polyb. 28.14-15; Diod. 30.13). For long periods it controlled the Diktynnaion. It led Cretan resistance to Rome in the 1st c. B.C., supported Octavian against Antony, and was rewarded with freedom (30 B.C.; Dio Cass. 51.2). It was prosperous under the Empire and one of the few Cretan cities then issuing its own coinage, which had begun in the early 5th c. B.C. The seat of a bishop, the settlement continued until the Arab Conquest in the early 9th c.
  Recent excavations on Kastelli Hill by the harbor have revealed a very important Minoan settlement, mainly MM-LM (esp. LM III), but with also EM and post-Minoan sherds (esp. Geometric). From the Bronze Age onwards this was clearly the main settlement in the area; theories that Kydonia or early Kydonia lay W or SW of Khania must be rejected. Of the post-Minoan city very little has been found, but it probably occupied Kastelli Hill (presumably the acropolis) and the area below to the S. Remains of buildings with mosaics of the Roman period (mainly 2d c. A.D.) have been found just S of the Cathedral (Metropolis; two rooms of bath complex and part of hypocaust); by Venizelos Sq. S of the Market; and in Nea Katastimata to the SW (mosaic depicting Poseidon and Amymone). Tombs of MM, LM, archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman date (the Minoan mainly chamber tombs and the later mainly cist graves or hypogaea) have been found in the E and SE of the city: in the area of the Public Park, Stadium, Law Courts (Mazali), Bolaris and Khalepa. Minoan remains have also been found to the SW. The ancient harbor (closable according to Skylax; with reefs at entrance according to the Stad.) was below Kastelli to the N, the harbor used later by the Venetians, whose mole along the reef probably covers an ancient mole. Belli saw remains of the theater (being demolished in 1585 by the Venetians for improvements to their fortifications), an aqueduct, and a temple with a Doric portico. The Venetian walls clearly contain much ancient material and provide the main reason for the lack of visible ancient remains.

D. J. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Cydonia

   Kudonia. One of the chief cities of Crete, situated on the northwest coast, derived its name from the Cydones, a Cretan race, placed by Homer in the western part of the island. Cydonia was the place from which quinces (Cydonia mala) were first brought to Italy; and its inhabitants were among the best Cretan archers.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


The Catholic Encyclopedia

Cydonia or Canea

  A titular see of Crete. According to old legends Cydonia (or Kydonia) was founded by King Kydon, on the northwest shore of Crete. It was afterwards occupied by the Achaeans and Aeolians, but remained one of the chief cities of the island till it was taken by Q. C. Metellus (A.D. 69). The Venetians rebuilt and fortified it in 1252; it was taken by the Turks in 1645.
  After the Frank occupation there was in Crete a Latin see, Agriensis, or Agiensis, which must have been the same as that of Cydonia, or Canea. The last occupant retired to Italy when the city had been taken by the Turks.
  Canea still remains a Greek see.

S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Anthony J. Stokes
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


Perseus Project

Kydonia, Cydonia, Cydonian, Cydonians


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Cydonia

  Kudonia, Kudonis: Eth. and Adj. Kudoniates, Kudon, Kudonios, Kudonaios, Kudonis, Kudoniakos, Cydon, Cydoneus, Cydoniatae, Cydonites, Cydonius: Khania). One of the most ancient and important cities of Crete. (Strab. x.) Homer (Od. iii. 292, xix. 176) speaks of the Cydonians who dwelt about the river Iardanus, whom Strabo considers to be indigenous, but nowhere mentions a city Cydonia. The traditions, though differing among themselves, prove that it existed in very ancient times. Herodotus (iii. 44, 59) assigns its foundation to the Samians who established themselves there, and during their 5 years' residence in it built the temple of Dictynna, as well as those which still existed when the historian wrote. The city, however, as is plain from the legends, existed before the time of Polycrates, though adorned by the Samnians. In the Peloponneslan War it was engaged in hostilities with the Gortynians, who were assisted by an Athenian squadron. (Thuc. ii. 35.) Cydonia, as Arnold remarks, would especially hate and be hated by the Athenians, as a considerable portion of its citizens were Aeginetan colonists. (Herod. iii. 59.) At a later period it formed an alliance with the Cnossians. (Polyb. iv. 55. § 4, xxxiii. 15. § 4.) After the termination of the Sacred War, Phalaecus, the Phocian general, attacked Cydonia, and was killed with most of his troops during the siege. (Diod. xvi. 61.) At one time she carried on hostilities single-handed against both Cnossus and Gortyna. (Liv. xxxvii. 40.) The first engagement between the Cretans, under Lasthenes and Panares, and the Roman legions, under Metellus, was fought in the Cydonian district. The Romans were victorious. Metellus was saluted imperator, and laid siege to Cydonia. (Appian, Cret. vi. 2; Liv. Epit. xcviii.)
  Strabo describes Cydonia as situated on the sea and looking towards Laconia, at a distance of 800 stadia from both Cnossus and Gortyna. Scylax mentions Cydonia as having a harbour which could be closed (limen kleistos); the port of Khania exactly answers to this description. This identity of physical features with the notices of several ancient writers (Ptol. l. c.; Plin. iv. 12. s. 20), coupled with the circumstance that maritime symbols are found on autonomous coins of Cydonia, has led Mr. Pashley to fix the site in or near the modern Khania.
  The quince-tree derived its name from the Cretan Cydonia, in the district of which city it was indigenous, and was thence transported into other countries. (Plin. xv. 11.) The fruit was called kodumalon in the ancient Cretan dialect.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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